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I honestly don’t think anyone can prepare you for the overwhelming joy that comes with being a grandparent. In the months leading up to their birth, you begin to want to purchase everything you see that is baby related, and the minute they are born, something in you changes. 

I can't put into words what the feeling is like, but if you have experienced it, you would likely understand. I remember asking my mom several times before my grandson was born what it was like. She could never put it into words either. She could only say that I would understand as soon as he gets here. 

It is such a blessing that we are given the opportunity to raise our children and then that God graciously allows us to see our children grow and raise children of their own. While I can’t explain the feeling of the joy it brings, I can tell you that the feeling of responsibility changed for me.

I started to look back over my life. I began questioning if I took enough time to make sure that my children knew they were loved. I don’t mean loved by buying all the latest gadgets or name-brand clothes, I mean actually sitting and spending time with them and teaching them about life. More importantly, did I show Christ daily? After asking myself those questions, the answers were ones that I didn’t really enjoy hearing. 

Of course, nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes and God’s grace is sufficient to cover a multitude of sins, however, I wanted to learn from my past mistakes and take more time not only with my children but invest in the additional little blessing that made me a "Gigi." I wanted to be more intentional with my time, thoughts and actions. 

I think sometimes life can get so distracting that we lose sight of some of the most important moments in our lives. Buying a house was great, but I miss the sound of the little footsteps running through the halls more than the home. Buying a car was fun, but I miss cleaning up the crumbs in the backseat. Signing up for football was a blast, but I miss him asking me to tie his shoes. Going to pick out the pretty leotard for dance was lovely, but watching my little girl twirl around in front of the mirror is a moment I will never forget. 

Having a grandson, I feel like I get a second chance. I get a chance to slow down completely and watch every little detail. I got to be there when he held his little head up on his own. I was there when he rolled over for the first time and when he giggled so sweetly. I light up inside every time he reaches out his little arms for me to pick him up and our afternoon wagon rides are the best. 

Ashley Carter, Parker
(A. Carter)

So, maybe I can explain the feeling a bit better now. I think it’s honestly pure joy! A joy that God has chosen to share with us to remind us that we all get a second chance. What a joy it is to be a grandparent. 

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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